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Journal Articles Atherosclerosis Year : 2021

Multifaceted role of extracellular vesicles in atherosclerosis


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small vesicles released by the majority of cells in response to cell activation or death stimuli. They are grouped as small EVs or exosomes, large EVs such as microvesicles (MVs) and apoptotic bodies, resulting from distinct mechanisms of generation. EVs are released into the extracellular space, in most human biological fluids and tissues, including atherosclerotic plaques. They transport complex cargo of bioactive molecules, including proteins, lipids and genetic material and are therefore involved in pathophysiological pathways of cell-cell communication. Indeed, EVs are involved in several processes such as inflammation, coagulation, vascular dysfunction, angiogenesis and senescence, contributing to the initiation and progression of atherothrombotic diseases. Consequently, they behave as a determinant of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability leading to major cardiovascular disorders. Over the last decade, the field of EVs research has grown, highlighting their involvement in atherosclerosis. However, limitations in both detection methodologies and standardisation have hindered implementation of EVs in the clinical settings. This review summarizes the effect of EVs in atherosclerosis development, progression and severity, with specific attention devoted to their ambivalent roles in senescence and hemostasis. This review will also highlight the role of MVs as multifaceted messengers, able to promote or to attenuate atherosclerosis progression. Finally, we will discuss the main technical challenges and prerequisites of standardization for driving EVs to the clinics and delineate their relevance as emergent biomarkers and innovative therapeutic approaches in atherosclerosis.
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Dates and versions

hal-03504354 , version 1 (29-12-2021)



Akhil Konkoth, Ronald Saraswat, Cléa Dubrou, Florence Sabatier, Aurelie Leroyer, et al.. Multifaceted role of extracellular vesicles in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, 2021, 319, pp.121-131. ⟨10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.11.006⟩. ⟨hal-03504354⟩
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